100 episodes

Intimate and compelling interviews by Rachel Zucker with poets and other artists. Become a Patron & support our growing podcast! www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People‪)‬ Rachel Zucker

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 189 Ratings

Intimate and compelling interviews by Rachel Zucker with poets and other artists. Become a Patron & support our growing podcast! www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

    Episode 104: The Critical Response Process with Liz Lerman & John Borstel

    Episode 104: The Critical Response Process with Liz Lerman & John Borstel

    Rachel speaks to dancer, choreographer, and teacher Liz Lerman about the Critical Response Process (CRP), a philosophy and method for providing creative feedback in and out of the classroom, as well as John Borstel, co-writer and editor of Liz’s Critique is Creative: The Critical Response Process in Theory and Action. They discuss the need for alternative feedback structures in their lives, the origins of CRP, their art school critiques, complementary skill sets, and the steps of this process.

    Episode 103: Cody-Rose Clevidence with Valentine Conaty

    Episode 103: Cody-Rose Clevidence with Valentine Conaty

    In this episode, Commonplace Producer, writer, and editor Valentine Conaty speaks to poet Cody-Rose Clevidence. The two discuss attention, collective movements of feeling, media consumption, connectedness, favorite memes, loneliness, the human yearning for divinity, reclaiming God for depressed queers, being a good family member, science-y books, and reading widely as a poet.

    • 1 hr 50 min
    Episode 102: Rebekah Wolkstein

    Episode 102: Rebekah Wolkstein

    Rachel visits her cousin, Rebekah Wolkstein, a classically trained concert violinist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter, and vocalist, and mother of three daughters at her home in Toronto. With her husband Drew Jureka, also a multi-instrumentalist as well as a producer and audio engineer, Rebekah performs as part of Payadora Tango Ensemble and Venuti String Quartet. From their home studio, she and Rachel discuss the experience of losing her income from live performance during the COVID-19 pandemic, creativity, ambition, hoop-jumping, ensemble work, the joy of learning new instruments and forms, the value of classical music studies at a young age even for those who won’t become professional musicians, and how both of them, in different ways and under different circumstances, came into their own as artists while mothering young children. The episode is full of memories, laughter, and of course, music.

    Episode 101: Prageeta Sharma

    Episode 101: Prageeta Sharma

    Rachel speaks with poet, scholar, and Thinking Its Presence conference founder Prageeta Sharma about her book Grief Sequence and creating a platform for BIPOC writers and scholars with the settlement from her discrimination lawsuit. The conversation touches on grief, racism and misogyny, attachment to problematic objects, second chances at love, the abject lyric, false friends, and how to support each other with vibrancy.

    Selected Work by Prageeta Sharma
    Grief Sequence (Wave, 2020)
    Undergloom (Fence Books, 2013)
    Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, 2007)
    The Opening Question (Fence Books, 2004)
    Bliss to Fill (Subpress, 2000)
    “A One Won” and “Friendship and Racial Furniture: An Address” in Harp & Altar, Issue 11, Winter 2022

    Also Referenced
    Katy Lederer
    Alice Notley
    The Descent of Inanna
    Douglas Kearney
    Mark Strand
    Dorothy Wang, Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Asian American Poetry
    James Kyung-jin Lee, Pedagogies of Woundedness: Illness, Memoir, and the Ends of the Model Minority
    Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism
    Pauline Chen, Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality
    Valorie Thomas
    The Beatles, Let it Be
    Barnett Newman
    Brenda Shaughnessy
    Sandra Lim
    Divya Victor, Curb and Kith
    Cathy Park Hong, Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
    Jorie Graham
    Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings
    Kyla Tompkins
    Cherene Sherrard-Johnson
    Amaud Jamaul Johnson
    Jonathan Lethem
    Claudia Rankine, Citizen
    Roland Barthes, Grief Sequence
    Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia, ed. Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Yolanda Flores Niemann, Carmen G. Gonzalez and Angela P. Harris
    Matthew Salesses, Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping

    Commonplace has no institutional or corporate affiliation and is made possible by you, our listeners! Support Commonplace by joining the Commonplace Book Club: https://www.patreon.com/commonplacepodcast

    Prageeta Sharma and Dorothy Wang at the Thinking Its Presence conference.

    Episode 100: Doreen Wang

    Episode 100: Doreen Wang

    In November 2021, former Commonplace Social Media Director Doreen Wang visited New York City, where she had lived for years, from her home in Taiwan. In Rachel’s home, the friends discussed Doreen’s time with Commonplace and her new podcast, 一年的告白/ Dos Salidas, created with her mother Mish Liang Hsu. Dos Salidas, produced and distributed by Ghost Island Media, is Taiwan’s first limited-series audio documentary and was nominated for Best New Show in the 2022 KKBOX Podcast Awards.

    This conversation touches on creative friendships, how people’s lives intersect across time, the importance of editing lightly, the need to control our narratives, how to ask burning questions, intimacy, mothers and children, lingering traumas of COVID-19 in Taiwan and the United States, and the relationship between anxiety and confession.

    Episode 99: Douglas Kearney

    Episode 99: Douglas Kearney

    In this conversation Rachel welcomes poet, interdisciplinary artist, professor, and Bagley Wright Lecturer Douglas Kearney to Commonplace. They discuss their experiences writing and performing lectures for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series, which supports contemporary poets. Kearney and Zucker speak about ideas of influences on poetry and poetics, Kearney's recent ADHD diagnosis, scales for writers, the failures of metaphor, insight porn, epiphanies, performance, and how the idea of an authentic self is rooted in white supremacy.

    This episode also includes excerpts from the following lectures: “Red Read / Read Red: Putting Violence Down in Poetry,” performed live with musician Val Jeanty at the Ace Hotel Brooklyn, hosted by Bomb Magazine; “#WerewolfGoals,” performed via Zoom and hosted by Washington University in St. Louis; and “I Killed, I Died: Banter, Self-Destruction, and the Poetry Reading,” performed via Zoom and hosted by Cave Canem.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
189 Ratings

189 Ratings

flowerlover33 ,


Just listened to ep 76 and it was so lovely and much needed!

83728292827 ,

Keep the vulnerability coming!

at one point in episode 89 (with david naimon), you asked about whether you were allowed to talk about tinder on commonplace, and what david said not only answers your question but basically sums up what i feel in general when listening to commonplace: "you've established a mode of being in your show that is a similar mode of being in your poetry and your prose, where life is moving between those sectors... people are drawn to your show because of this; you already have an audience with a built-in expectation for this, both your readers and your listeners."

All this to say that: just as in a poet's life one's living is one's work, so too does this listener come to your show as a space of vulnerability and sincerity and healing. I love it. Never shy away from going to the places you think no one is interested in. Because those are the very places poetry, and your podcast, is for.

(as a side note, i've just recently finished museum of accidents and am nearly done with the pedestrians, and i love your work. (the latter felt like a novel thru poems). can't wait to read the bad wife handbook next :) )

Thank you thank you thank you and keep up the great work!!!!!

heretomorrowgonetoday ,


Rooting for you, Rachel. ♥️
Warn regards, Joan Tessler (mom’s old friend, who, after all, is no doubt very proud of you!) 😘

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